It was an outing that children from residential schools for hearing impaired longed for as was clear from the joy on their faces.
At the YMCA grounds in Nandanam, students crowded the stalls set up by the Deaf Enabled Foundation
They excitedly chattered away in sign language all the while aiming darts at balloons. This is the third year in succession that the foundation, headed by T.K.M. Sandeep, has organised the games.
The foundation’s communications director M. Ramya said the aim of the programme was to get the children to focus, befriend students from other schools and be competitive. “It helps them to build their cognitive abilities, become focussed even while playing and develop friendships,” she said.
A. Manjula a class IX student of CSI Higher Secondary School, Mylapore, needed her friend Durga to decipher some questions.
By the end of the afternoon, she had made friends with some students from Little Flower Convent. Manjula and her sister are both hearing and speech impaired.
Her sister got married after class X but she does not want to go her sister’s way, she said. She wants to become a computer professional.
V. Ramesh, a class IX student of St. Louis Institute for the Deaf, has also made his career choice. His parents are construction workers and sometimes his mother doubles up as a domestic help. “I want to be a electricity meter reader,” he said. “Someone told me I do not have to communicate in such types of work. All I have to do is note down numbers,” said the boy who enjoyed throwing darts at the event.
The winners received prizes from film director S.M. Vasanth. L&T was the chief sponsor.